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Security beefed up around Lalu over 'phone use' reports.

Summary: Bihar CM alleges RJD chief is communicating with the outside world through mobile phones

Patna: Authorities have beefed up security around the jail ward where Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad is undergoing treatment under judicial custody. He is under the supervision of doctors at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi in Jharkhand.

Security has been tightened following allegations by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar that the RJD president has been in regular touch with the outside world through mobile phones.

"It's well known that Laluji keeps telephoning people from jail, rules may be damned," the chief minister had said in his interview to a private news channel earlier this week, describing it as a violation of jail manual.

Acting on the report, the local police have conducted raids twice in his ward but found no objectionable items from his possession. The Jharkhand government also termed the allegations by the Bihar chief minister as "false".

"Whosoever has given such information to the Bihar chief minister has tried to mislead him. This is totally wrong and misleading. There is no mobile phone with Lalu Prasad," inspector general of police (Jail), Jharkhand, Birendra Bhushan has told newsmen.

"Moreover, we have already conveyed it to Lalu Prasad that the special privilege provided to him will be withdrawn if he is found violating the jail manual," the jail IG explained, adding "he (Lalu Prasad) himself is cooperating."

Although the Jharkhand government rebutted the allegations of Bihar chief minister, it has tightened security around the jail ward where the RJD president is undergoing treatment.

On Wednesday evening, a team of Ranchi police again conducted surprise inspection of his ward and ordered the hospital authorities to install CCTV cameras in his security, reports said. Authorities have also directed the hospital staffs not to allow anyone to meet Prasad without prior information of jail authorities.

As per the report, currently a posse of 40 policemen is deployed in the security of the RJD chief at the hospital but after the Kumar's allegation, authorities are planning to remove the current police force and replace them with new team.

"Our job is to take only medical care of the RJD president. For anything related to the security, the local administration is free to initiate any actions," RIMS director D.K. Singh told the media on Thursday.

Prasad is currently being treated for multiple diseases. He suffers from 14-15 types of ailments which include chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, Type-2 diabetes, depression and perianal abscess.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 4, 2019
Words:435
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